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A Brief History of Montmarayby Michelle Cooper
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle) meets Nancy Mitford (The Pursuit of Love) in this charming coming of age tale that takes place on a small island off the coast of England. Sophie is an impoverished princess who lives in a crumbling castle; having just turned 16, Sophie is looking forward to making her debut into Society even as she wrestles with her crush on the housekeeper's son. The unexpected arrival of two German officers soon chases all thoughts of romance from Sophie's mind as she wrestles with the political ramifications of the soldiers' presence at Montmaray. A bittersweet tale of loyalty and loss, A Brief History of Montmaray is recommended for readers ages 12 and up.
Synopses & Reviews
“Theres a fine line between gossip and history, when one is talking about kings.”
Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war. The politics of Europe seem far away from their remote island—until two German officers land a boat on Montmaray. And then suddenly politics become very personal indeed.
A Brief History of Montmaray is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around you.
“Once in a while, a special book will cross our paths and make us grateful for life and the ability to read. Im talking about A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper. Im calling her Australias next stroke of literary brilliance.”—Viewpoint
"A highly atmospheric setting on the invented European island of Montmaray and a memorably eccentric cast prove a standout backdrop for this adventure set in 1936. In personable, smart diary entries, 16-year-old Sophie FitzOsborne unveils her life of aristocratic poverty in a crumbling fortified castle with sharks below the rickety drawbridge, living with her unbalanced uncle the king, tomboy sister Henry, bluestocking cousin Veronica and eerily loyal housekeeper ('It's not my fault I'm a princess [albeit one from an impoverished and inconsequential island kingdom that is miles from anywhere],' Sophie moans). Cooper ably interweaves this fictional dynasty with historical fact, sketching details about the Spanish Civil War and growing Nazi power, the handful of villagers left on the island ('there are now as many Royal Highnesses on the island as there are subjects'), visits from friends from England and Sophie's longed-for debut. When German soldiers arrive, events take a perilous turn, and the revelation of long-hidden family secrets adds additional gothic undertones. Cooper's taut pacing and strong characters make this a powerful historical novel. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in a tiny island kingdom on the eve of World War II, "A Brief History of Montmaray" is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around.
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
About the Author
Michelle Cooper lives in Sydney, Australia.
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